The Resurrection Question
Dr. John K. Mathew
Two thousand years ago a stark cross was reared against an Eastern sky, with a man dying on it. Did ever any failure or defeat seem more complete than that?
Since then proud empires have crumbled into ruins leaving nothing but a few moldering stones in a field where rabbits breed and feed. But the man lives on to haunt men's minds and consciences forever. He lives on in the power of his spirit of truth, love, and sacrifice. That spirit is the greatest uplifting, ennobling, re-creative force mankind has ever known.
We need that spirit today. A German man once said, "Adolf Hilter has become so big, and Jesus Christ has become so small". Since then Adolf Hitler and his thousand - year Reich have gone. Jesus Christ - the man on the cross - remains alive forevermore. Christ's resurrection is the foundational event of the Christian faith. Paul goes so far as to say that, "if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." (1 Cor:15:17-19). Paul was not a believer in Christ when Christ was crucified and resurrected but later on, the resurrected Christ appeared to him. His faith in Christ was corroborated by the witness of the other apostles, who were accused of stealing Jesus body to claim that he has risen. The question is how these people would embrace martyrdom for a lie which was formed by themselves?
Even though there are many pieces of evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ such as the empty tomb, and the report of the eyewitnesses, first and foremost is his disciple's willingness to die for that truth! With the exception of John, every one of the 11 disciples died a martyr's death. Tradition says Peter was crucified upside down at his own request, for he thought himself 'unworthy' to be crucified in the same way his Lord had been. Paul after several long imprisonments died a martyr's death in Rome. John, who outlived all the other disciples was boiled in oil, yet survived, and when he was approximately 85 years old he was banished to the Isle of Patmos (Tim Lahaye). Even today thousands around the globe sacrifice their lives for this truth. A Muslim said to a Christian, "We Muslims have one thing you Christians do not have. When we go to Medina, we find a coffin and know that Muhammad lived because his body is in it. But when you Christians go to Jerusalem, you find nothing but an empty tomb". "Thank you", replied the Christian, " What you say is absolutely true, and that makes the eternal difference. The reason we find an empty tomb is because we serve a risen Christ."
If Christ's resurrection was true the Bible says that there is a resurrection of all human beings. It is written, "there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24:15). "Some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan.12:2).
The final question is, how it shall be for you?